The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) yesterday saluted and congratulated women all over the world and Ghanaian women in particular on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day.
It was celebrated under the theme: ‘Connecting girls: inspiring futures’.
In a statement signed and issued in Accra, Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of GTUC, noted that it was a day women were recognised for their achievements regardless of their age, ethnicity, culture, economic or political differences.
“Since 1911 when the first International Women’s Day was marked in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, the day has assumed a new global dimension for women all over the world,” it said.
This year’s theme; according to the statement, focused on the untapped potential in young girls and young women in the country which could be harnessed by involving them in the different developmental processes to ensure the chain of excellence in the advancement of women’s rights.
It said the promotion of gender equality was growing and continuing in generations to come and hence the need to help young girls to see different options of solving challenges facing them and in making the best possible decisions.
“Despite the widespread claim that all people have equal rights to education, majority of girls do not have access to primary education especially in rural areas, despite the fact that this is the fundamental educational formative stage of every person”.
It said there were so many talented girls and young women whose abilities had not been fully exploited due to lack of access to education and training and called on government to continue supporting the establishment of especially rural education infrastructure within each community.
The statement further called on government to make education more accessible to many more children with emphasis on girl education “since girls begin to mature into young women when they are in Upper Primary and in the Senior High School.”
Whilst much progress had been made in promoting gender equality in the society, however much remains to be done, the statement said with increased commitment from policy-makers, women and men working together in society could reduce gender imbalances.
The statement observed that Ghana had signed onto many International and Regional Agreements and Conventions that sought to promote gender equality and noted that in spite of those laws, Ghanaian women still encountered biases and discriminatory practices in employment, marriage, divorce and access to resources such as land, labour, finance and technology.
“As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, the call is for each of us to involve and inspire as many young girls and young women as we can to enable them to contribute their quota in the socio-economic and political development of our country”, it said.